Having signed up a sponsor for the approved sign in right field, the Chicago Cubs will this week put up a new mock sign along the outfield wall, per multiple reports. The Cubs once before placed mock-up signs along the outfield walls, demonstrating the size of signs the Cubs were looking for, and how the views of the rooftop buildings would be impacted.
That the Cubs are putting up another test sign after inking a deal with Budweiser is interesting. Is it a signal that talks with the rooftops aren’t as troubled as we think? After all, if the two sides had resigned themselves to a legal battle, why would the Cubs be testing anything at all? Wouldn’t they just say “screw it,” and put up the advertising sign?
Well, don’t get your hopes up. The answers to these non-rhetorical questions appear to be some formulation of “maybe, but that’s probably not what this is all about.” Indeed, according to Bruce Levine, the mock-up sign going up this week is so that Budweiser can see how the sign might look, and can offer feedback into the permanent sign. The rooftop owners, Levine says, will likely be included in the discussions on placement, however.
With an additional opportunity to see how the sign will impact views, perhaps there will be another window for the Cubs and the rooftops to engage in productive discussions that clear the path for construction. You’ll recall, the Ricketts Family has said that it will not starting laying out serious cash for the renovation until they know they aren’t going to be immediately sued by the rooftops. In that regard, I find this second mock-up session modestly encouraging, because I remain of the mind that resolving this dispute short of legal involvement is the best thing for everyone involved. Legal battles are lengthy, expensive, and – worst of all in this instance – unpredictable.
I expect we’ll hear about the mock-up at some point this week, and if anyone happens to be strolling by when the sign goes up, snap a picture or two and pass them along.